No. Latitude (the north/south measurement) begins at the equator. So 50 degrees north is 50 degrees from the equator, and 40 degrees south is 40 degrees from the equator. Now can you tell which one is closer to the equator ?
25 degrees south (or north) is closer to the equator that 30 degrees north (or south). This has a lot to do with the mathematical fact that 25 is less than 30. The equator is the 'zero' of latitude; 'north' and 'south' start from it.
The "north" and "south" latitude references begin at the equator. So "20 degrees" north or south are both 20 degrees from the equator, and "10 degrees" north or south are both 10 degrees from the equator. 10 is closer to the equator than 20.
The 45 latitude crosses very close to the center of France. If you are north of this line, you will be closer to the north pole. If you are south of it, you are closer to the equator. You would have to cross the equator to reach the south pole, so it is definitely further than the equator.
No, 40 degrees south latitude is closer to the equator than 90 degrees north latitude. All latitude originates from the equator, so as the number increases, the further it is away from the equator, regardless of north or south.